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License Plate Gallery

License Plate Sticker Colors, Part 3: 1997-present

These tables summarize the colors of validation stickers used on passenger-car and motorcycle license plates in all North American jurisdications during the last twenty years. Stickers indicating years of issue and primary use (as opposed to dates of expiration) are noted in italics.

Several interesting trends have come about in this time. One is the increasing use of point-of-sale terminals to generate license plate renewals and print validation stickers on demand. These systems often utilize laser printers, and allow for the license plate number to be printed on the sticker itself. Unfortunately, these trends have been regressive in terms of aesthetics and utility. Thirteen of the states that use such a system don't even bother changing the sticker stock color from year to year, making it impossible to tell at a glance whether a tag has expired or not. Many more no longer use color schemes that involve print colors other than black.

Another emerging trend has been the elimination of plate stickers themselves: Due to the growing ubiquity of computers in law-enforcement work, police officers can access details about registration records without needing to rely on stickers to establish validity. Validation stickers have been eliminated altogether by Quebec, New Jersey, Connecticut, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, and Manitoba (with Pennsylvania threatening to follow next), while New York, Texas, and the D.C. reserve plate stickers for motorcycles and trailers only.

United States
< Alabama 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Alaska 97 98 99 00a 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12b 13b 14b 15 16b 17
Arizona Emission 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08c 09a 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Non-emission 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09
Arkansas 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
California 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
< Colorado Emission 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Non-emission 97 98 99 00 01 02 03
Connecticut 97d 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09e 10e 11e 12e Stickers discontinued.
Delaware Combined month-year stickers in various colors. f g 11g 12g 13g 14g 15g 16g 17 18 19
District of Columbia 97 98 99 00 01 02 03h 04h 05e 06e 07e 08e 09e 10e 11e 12e 13e 14e 15e
Florida 97 98 99 00 01i 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
< Georgia 97 98 99 00b 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09j 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Hawaii 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04b 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Idaho 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08a 09b 10b 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Illinois 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Indiana 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Iowa 97c 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
< Kansas 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Kentucky 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15a 16a 17
LouisianaCars 97 98 99 00 01 02 03a 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Motorcycles 97 98 04
Maine 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Maryland 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09ab 10a 11a 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Massachusetts 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Michigan 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Minnesota 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Mississippi 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Missouri 97 - 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
< MontanaCars 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Motorcycles 97 98 99 00 01 PERM Stickers discontinued after 2003.
Nebraska 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Nevada 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04b 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
New Hampshire 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
New Jersey 97e 98e 99e 00h 01 02 03 04 05 06e 07e 08e 09e 10e 11e Stickers discontinued.
< New Mexico 97 98 99 00 01a 02a 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
New York (motorcycles) 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
North Carolina 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16a 17
North Dakota 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05b 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Ohio 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Oklahoma 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
< Oregon 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Pennsylvania 97 98 99 00 01h 02h 03h 04h 05h 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Rhode Island 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
South Carolina 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
South Dakota 97 98 99 00b 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Tennessee 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
< Texas (motorcycles) 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05a 06a 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14
Utah 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Vermont 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04a 05a 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Virginia 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Washington 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
West Virginia 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
< Wisconsin 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Wyoming 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

a Some examples of these stickers were black on white.

b Some examples of these stickers had black characters on a color background.

c Some examples of these stickers were white on black.

d Some examples of Connecticut '97 stickers were white on magenta:

97

e Issued to motorcycles only. Passenger cars issued windshield stickers instead (except for 2006-11 New Jersey, where no visible validation was used).

f Beginning in December 2005, newly-issued Delaware validation stickers have been black on white regardless of month and year. Expirations from December '06 to (presumably) November '10 existed in both old and new color schemes.

g Stickers used on Delaware's optional "Centennial Plate" base (introduced October 2008) have been black on gold.

h Or windshield/window sticker.

i Some examples of these stickers were black on yellow.

j Later examples of these stickers had black print and white fields on a color background.

k Used on the optional "Treasure the Chesapeake" baseplate.


Canada
< British Columbia 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Alberta 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Saskatchewan 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 Stickers discontinued.
Manitoba 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
Ontario Jan-Mar 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Apr-Jun 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
< Jul-Sep 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Oct-Dec 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Québec Validation stickers discontinued after 1992.
New Brunswick 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Nova Scotia 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Prince Edward Island 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
< Newfoundland & Labrador 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Yukon 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Northwest Territories 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12a 13 14 15 Discontinued
Nunavutb 12 13 14 15 16 17

a Later examples of Northwest Territories '12 stickers were white on green:

12

b The area comprising Nunavut existed as part of the Northwest Territories until 1999.

With thanks to: Keith Dickson, Jeff Ellis, Mike Franks, Eric Maki, John Northup, Matthew Thoreson.

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